gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-17 09:49 am

phased-array friffery

I have absolutely no idea whether the purported functionality of this is nonsense or not.  But a phased-array speaker system that shoots SOUND BEAMS is still pretty cool.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-16 06:25 am

(no subject)

I'm planning on moving the bulk of my blogging over yonder. My rough plan is to do more serious writing (as serious as my tone ever gets). I figure I'll keep using lj for my more common friffery-type-bits which mostly consist of "I liked this link" these days.

Also, I felt the need to hurl myself worshipfully under the crushing, liberating, wheels of the Google juggernaut, thus blogspot. (The ability to google for what the hell I wrote and was thinking about something two years back is more a draw than the wheel-crushing thing; the LJ memories bit is just not cutting it recently.)

For you folks using aggregator-type thingies, or making "syndication" channels to read non-LJ bits on LJ, the "feed" of aforementioned new blog is this:
http://gardrastic.blogspot.com/atom.xml
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-13 07:05 am

"Leave things alone."

In the "about goddamn time!" category, I have just learned that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is finally getting a Region 1 DVD release on March 22nd. Anamorphic widescreen, by gum. About time something came out--the less-than-stellar pan&scan regionless one of dubious provenance was a welcome find some time back, but definitely a flick I don't mind paying for again to get a proper version of.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-13 01:23 am

Happy Billy Pilgrim Day

Originally, I'd intended to put some sort of rambling entry in this space about Slaughterhouse Five (in honor of the day an assasin fired a laser rifle through Billy's head, after which there was simply a peaceful violent hum; also the day the Allies put some serious effort into turning Dresden into a carbon smear, and did a pretty good job at both that and sparking discussion afterwards about how means and ends intersected) and similarities with portions of the WW2 arc of Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, but my muse has let me know that's simply not the way the moment's structured, so to speak. It had mostly to do with both books presenting time as a sort of immediate, all-at-once manifold, the former explicitly of course, the latter by Neal's use of present tense throughout while simultaneously jumping back and forth between World War 2 and late-90's IT Bubble timelines.

The similarity passage that really sparked the idea was a bit in the opening chapters of Crypto (which I've just recently started rereading, while the Baroque Cycle is relatively fresh in memory) of the Marines getting the hell out of China as the Japanese are starting to do a number on it. Said scene being a description of the very worst part of the crowd complicating the marines' departure being all the women with half-white babies, some in hysterics trying to wade into the marine clot, but the worst being the ones simply staring stoically for a last dead look at the departing daddy. The final sentence being a quiet clobbering one, about how they'd heard about what the Japanese were doing upriver at Nanking, and that very soon the only evidence that any particular pair of woman-and-child had ever even existed would be a really bad memory for some poor marine boy.

Reading that made me flash immediately to one of the most powerful bits in Slaughterhouse Five, that being a simple, clinical description of what the deal was with an iron maiden. Lined with spikes, doors to be shut slowly on the poor bastard inside, etc. There was a pair of spikes where the criminal's eyes would be. There was a drain in the bottom to let out all the blood. So it goes, in one of the best-timed uses of that device in the book.

Anyway, there would have been an entry about that, with more of a point that those scenes were in their respective books. And there might well be one later.

In the meantime, happy Billy Pilgrim day.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-08 11:11 am

(no subject)

And speaking of links cheerfully horked from metafilter, this is pretty nifty.  Those of you reading this who are contemplating spawning can refer to it to receive graphic assurance of just how with the tides, or not, your potential-name-juggling is.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-08 11:06 am

(no subject)

Quotes like this:

...Anyway, I’d like to introduce you to the nemesis. The Unicron amongst all the other insignificant Autobots and Decepticons of the Japanese food universe, that has the power to destroy everything, ever, with its real and ultimate power. Out of all the delightfully disgusting foods that Japan has to offer such as fish ovaries and cats made from dogs, THIS is the one where even most plucky “I’ll eat anything, me” foreigners have to put their foot down and declare this country completely arse bananas insane beyond all hope....

...have just made Yongfook.com a new shordurperfav of blogs-I'll-occasionally-look-at.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-02-07 12:20 pm

(no subject)

Internet internet INTERNET!!!

Apparently a parody of some random blogger who posted a hugeass movie of himself basically having a class nine emotional breakdown.  Because that's a good use of one's blog!

I think it peaks at the caption card about who he's talking to on the phone.
gardrastic: (versus)
2005-01-31 01:40 am

hikeeba! gymkata!

In the opening five minutes of "Swordsman 2," a horse gets cut in half, lengthwise, by being caught in a kung-fu crossfire. Later, a horde of ninjas attack an inn by hurling bagfuls of scorpions into it, and one kung-fu chick's whole style revolves around throwing snakes at people.

The climactic battle contains of Jet Li demanding to know of Asia the Invincible, who has been transformed from man to woman via the supernatural kung fu of the sacred scrolls, whether or not they've really slept together.

Also, the primary attack of one of the other kung-fu dudes consists of the "Essence Absorbing Attack!" in which he gropes at the air and sucks items and people into his hands, whereupon they crumple in on themselves.

I think all of that really speaks for itself.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-01-28 07:12 am

Language toy

Visual Thesaurus is pretty damn nifty. If it included etymologies, I'd be even more in love.
gardrastic: (mandala)
2005-01-25 01:20 pm

built a machine for no one to see.

One of the most memorable bits of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle involves being down in a well, and related imagery.  This entry's a tangent off of that rather than the book itself, and is one of my intermittent half-assed philosophical ramblings that occasionally pop up in between the more usual bits.  So you may be better served by moving along to something lighter.  I suggest dogblog, to which I have absolutely no deep thoughts other than a grin (somehow the fact that the commentary is written by something like the Onion's Jim Anchower trying to tone it down a bit makes it even better).  But if you must, (much) more below the tag.
Read More... )
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-01-24 05:35 am

The world is quiet here.

More what-I've-been-reading-lately rambling herein, with the usual amount of minor spoilers lurking like rusty traps with weak springs and nerf all over the sharp bits under the leaves.
Read more... )
gardrastic: (south park)
2005-01-23 09:34 am

brief killographic notes

If you enjoy blowing the holy hell out of pretty much everything, and you have either a PS2 or Xbox, you should really play Mercenaries.  I predict you will enjoy it.  My favorite hu-ah moment came from stealing an enemy helicopter, failing with my initial attempts to destroy a big statue of the Glorious Leader (you get a bounty and reputation enhance with one of the factions when you do that) with its measly two rockets (it was a little scouty copter, you see), then getting in a brief dogfight with another helicopter, blowing it out of the sky with minigun fire--whereupon it fell in a flaming wreck right onto aforementioned statue and exploded, destroying them both.

I feel like shooting up a school now.  More later.

Back.  The demo for Darwinia is out, and looks promising, although it feels a bit half-baked at the moment.  But I've always wished there were more games that take a deliberately trippy approach to art direction, and this certainly does that.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-01-18 08:36 am

How my brain works, an example:

"We just got an email from a user in the Ukraine who says they're unable to connect to the system," I'm informed earlier.

The way my brain works is this: I immediately reply, "You could point out that maybe if they spent a bit less time poisoning political candidates and more time on their network infrastructure that maybe this kind of thing wouldn't happen."

It all got sorted out in a couple hours, but I don't think my initial troubleshooting suggestion was taken.
gardrastic: (Default)
2005-01-17 01:49 am

(no subject)

"The quoting of an aphorism, like the angry barking of a dog or the smell of overcooked broccoli, rarely indicates that something helpful is about to happen. An aphorism is merely a small group of words arranged in a certain order because they sound good that way, but oftentimes people tend to say them as if they were saying something very mysterious and wise." --Lemony Snicket

That deserves to be an aphorism, dammit!
gardrastic: (hermit)
2005-01-04 12:09 pm

A long book review-byte ramble

Not necessarily in chronological order.
Read more... )
gardrastic: (mandala)
2004-12-31 12:34 pm

That was...neat.

I've just recently got back home from spending a couple days with the family. My folks live in one of the more barren bits of Iowa, which is good by me--general misanthropy is partially an inheritable trait, I'm pretty sure. Their property bumps up against a big swath of DNR-protected land, basically a chunk of forest and whatnot that they refuse to let someone turn into cornfields. (To couch it in libertarian terms, a miles-wide footprint of the very boot stamping on humanity's face FOREVER!) But in short: really quiet.
Over and/or under-medicated crazy story here. )